The 3-mile long, 10-ft wide Corolla greenway opened to the public just in time for the summer season. It stretches along the east side of N.C. 12, from Albacore Street at the Monteray Shopping Plaza to the south end of Section A in Ocean Sands. Residents and visitors were delighted and the path has proven to be a tremendous success. News outlets widely reported on the opening, including The Elizabeth City Daily Advance. Soon after, an employee of Coastland wrote an opinion letter to the Daily Advance, critical of the path. Read on for a response to that letter from an Ocean Sands neighbor who also serves as president of the Corolla Civic Association.
(links to the related article and opinion letter can be found below)
Letter didn’t give full info on greenway
Friday, July 8, 2016
In typical Coastland Corporation fashion, a letter-writer, on behalf of Coastland’s owner, cast spite and venom on the Corolla greenway in a June 14 letter to the editor. This despite the fact that everyone is ecstatic with the path. As president of Corolla Civic Association, I have been working closely with the county on this project for five-plus years, and I want to set the record straight.
The Connecting Corolla Plan was adopted in October 2013 after several years of planning and public meetings and included input from bike/pedestrian path planning professionals and state Department of Transportation engineers. These professionals concluded that given the low visibility, multiple curves and heavy traffic, crossing N.C. Highway 12 to get to a west-side path was simply too dangerous. The common-sense option was to locate the path on the side of the road where people live. Crosswalks are not viable because people invariably “jaywalk” or simply don’t stop at them. The east side of N.C. 12 also allowed for a wider path. In short, putting the path on the west side of N.C. 12 would have caused mayhem.
One of Coastland’s go-to delaying tactics is to claim that another study is needed. But this in an effort to maintain control rather than to get to the right answer.
Rather than participate in the planning process, Coastland instead attempted to block the process every step of the way. Coastland refused to grant easements to allow the path to be pulled back at the Ocean Sands entrances which would have allowed better visibility and car stacking between the path and N.C 12. Coastland also refused to grant easements along Primrose Beach. Because the right-of-way there is too narrow to allow for a 10-foot path a safe distance from N.C. 12, the county’s plans to connect the path to Pine Island are stymied.
The letter’s point about Coastland offering easements on the west side of N.C. 12 in 2005 is laughable. This offer was conditioned on Coastland’s right to demand, at will, that the path be removed from its land. The agency that granted funding for the project rightly rejected this condition and Coastland wouldn’t budge. So the county used that grant money to build a stretch of path in the northern end of Corolla.
My family has been in Ocean Sands for more than 40 years. My father, my husband and I have spent years on the property owners association board. I have also dealt with Coastland on various advisory boards. Coastland’s dealings with the community are rare and unproductive. Its owner has steadfastly refused to meet with us. The company’s modus operandi is one of obstruction, obfuscation, delay and constantly whining about how it’s been mistreated by the county.
I would invite The Daily Advance to do an investigative piece on how a developer can still be in control after 45 years when he owns fewer than 2 percent of the platted parcels.
The above was written as a rebuttal to this opinion letter: http://www.dailyadvance.com/Le